The present study presents family expectations about the choice of a private school of religious orientation that has catered to the elite in the state of Santa Catarina for over a century. The data was collected by means of interviews and documentary analysis. The main results show that the families enrolled their children with disability in this school, expecting academic services from the institution, while the school underestimated the students' learning potential and proposed instead a program of daily living skills. We concluded that these families put up a fight against the exclusion of their children from places open exclusively to non disabled individuals, so as to create new possibilities their children could follow that were compatible with family expectations.
special education; disability; education; family